Reginald Reginaldo

The Organic Act of 1902 which established the Civil Government in the Philippines, made the establishment of Manila Business School (MBS), however, the school was not organized until 1904. (Bureau of Education, 1915). 

Participants tried to guess which building the Manila Business School was built. MBS was later known as the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. PHOTO/ Leo M. Sabangan II

Located at No. 38 Calle Gunao, Arlegui in Quiapo, Manila. To satisfy the demand of clerks with a knowledge of English, established the MBS. In October 1904, the MBS was the first business school in the Philippines, and was established in response to a growing demand for private business employment, conducted only in four (4) years as part of the school system of the city of Manila. 

Visit the Old Manila Business School by trying the Sintang Lakbay Filter on Instagram!

According to the director of the Bureau of Education, David Barrows (1904) “We have just opened a school of commerce in the city of Manila, where we are teaching shorthand,” the ‘shorthand’ mentioned above was a method of quick writing that uses symbols to embody words and phrases, that soon will be part of the curriculum – stenography. 

Another unique feature of the school was the offering of night classes. They welcome students aged 15 to 25, and lessons are held at night since laborers work in the mornings. While stenography, typewriting, and bookkeeping are among the courses offered.  

According to the Philippine Commission (1905), there are facilities and activities provided for the students, such as baseball, football, flute, and drums. Interestingly, the gymnasium built in the MBS was the first gym in all schools in the Philippines (Rivas et. al., 2019), the gym is reported to be used for baseball. Despite this, when the baseball league contest was initiated, joined by the Philippine School of Arts and Trades, Cavite High School, Normal School, Tondo Secondary School, and MBS. In all their games since joining, (25 games) they only won one! MBS finished last (Frank Lutz, 1908). However, based on the report of Bureau of Education, 90 percent of government service, in stenographer and typewriter are graduates from this school. 



Bureau of Education. Programs for Arbor Days and Other Special Days, bulletin no. 50. Philippine Public Schools. (Manila: Bureau of Printing, 1915)

Fayolle, A. Notes of the Old Scholars Association of the Paris Commercial School. International Exhibition of St. Louis. Paris: Publications industrielles et imprimerie administrative. 1904.

Lutz, Frank. Philippine Education, June 1908. Vol. V – No. 1. Manila. 

Lutz, Frank. Philippine Education, June 1909. Vol. VI – No.1. Manila. 

Sixth Annual Report of the Philippine Commission 1905. Part 1. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1906).

Rivas, Argen. Et. al. Ang Kasaysayan ng PUP, 1904 hanggang Kasalukuyan’ (Lungsod ng Quezon: Bagong Kasaysayan, 2019).

Sintang Lakbay is a historical walk and bike ride to promote inclusive mobility by facilitating active interaction with urban landscapes, restoring working-class memory in national history, and mobilizing public contributions to remembering through art and research. It is a collaborative project by The Polytechnic University of the Philippines, 350 Pilipinas, and the Constantino Foundation